Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy belated birthday, me

I realize that I have some blogging catchup to play at. 

My birthday was almost a month ago and I was under the impression I had written about it somewhere. I might have mentioned it, but not properly.

In any case, Oli and Lily returned to Barcelona from England on the 16th of September and my birthday was the 18th. Amid pre-work and pre-school rituals and taking care of all the little odds and ends that come with returning to a place, the night before my birthday Oli suggested we just take off the next morning and go up the coast to Tossa de Mar. After some grumpy wondering about if this were a good idea in light of all the things we still had to take care of and Lily just beginning to settle in to BCN, I agreed.

We took a late morning train to a small town the name of which I now cannot recall,  and from there caught the wrong bus so then had to catch another and then another to finally end up in Tossa de Mar for mid afternoon. We went right for the beach, which was disappointingly pebbly and housed queues of German tourists waiting to go on a glass-bottom boat, but all the same was a beach with a view of the town’s castle and walled city upon a hill. I accidentally threw the Frisbee into the sea and had to strip to underwear and tank top in front of a boat filled with tourists waiting to embark upon a cave and grotto hunt in order to dive into the deep chilly water and retrieve it. Happy birthday, me. In any case, I adjusted to the temperature quickly and enjoyed a nice swim.

From there it was off to check into the hostal, where Lily was thrilled because we were given a room with a double bed and a small single bed all for her.

Then we made our way to a beachside greasy spoon café for classic Spanish and Catalan fried foods of the most average sort. We ate on guiri (white folks’) time so no one else was there and the head waiter gave us, particularly Lily, all his attention. Paper umbrellas and other drink stirrers abounded. Since everyone at the neighboring restaurant was bored as well, they kept tabs on Lil, and when she had a fall right before we left, a waiter from there ran into his café and came back out quickly with a chupa chup to make it all better, which it did.

After that it was dark and therefore, a perfect time to explore the castle. The lovely thing about Spain is that we are often surprised to find that things that would normally be closed to the public at certain hours or be highly regulated in the US or UK are not. ‘A castle on a hill overlooking the sea? A walled city where people still live? Heck yeah. Have a look around. Climb on it. We’ve put some lights in so no need to lock the doors at night. Have a good run!’ And we did. And it was fun. We met an Italian family with a girl Lily’s age and they chased cats around a little square in the walled city. That was fun, too.

The night rounded out with us sitting on the front porch of a local, sipping red wine with Lily asleep on me wrapped in her blanket, while we watched the night life slowly pick up around us. A waiter we had talked to earlier in passing, and who had given Lil a balloon, passed by on his way home and ended up chatting with us for ages. Turns out he lived in Barcelona as well and had a house in Tossa and runs a big company, but likes to come be a waiter in his friend’s café from time to time, you know, for kicks.

In the morning the old couple that ran the hostal made us breakfast and then we meandered through the town, past the ‘secret beach’ and back to the bus station to commence the journey home.


Caleb said...

That is incredibly pretty. Do all the cities around BCN look like that? Sitges was a little more modern but the walls were still there.

Maiasaura said...

1. the picture of lily in bed is adorable. is she pretending to be asleep or does she actually sleep with a smile on her face like some kind of fairytale princess?
2. i'm always amazed by your accounts of how other people interact with you and especially lily. do you guys have stars hanging over your heads? or are people just nicer there?
3. loved the story of the rich guy (i'm assuming) who waits tables for kicks. keeping it real, that dude is.